Who says that the gluten-intolerant can't enjoy one of America's favorite comfort foods during the holidays - Macaroni and Cheese?!
I think I may make the best homemade Mac and Cheese on the planet - and it's gluten-free. For the holidays, add some Christmas color by folding in or laying the noodles and cheese sauce with a your favorite red. white and green veggies, lightly sauteed. I call this version Merry Mac and Cheese. This dish is a great way to get your kids to eat more veggies!
This recipes does have some dairy, as I won't give up real cheddar cheese (soy cheeses are no substitute in this case). So, for those that are also lactose-intolerant, who don't want to give up their mac and cheese, consider taking the enzyme supplement lactase. I find that soy cheese is tasteless and doesn't melt the same as regular cheese, but give it a try, if real cheese is absolutely not an option for you. Let me know how it turns out.
Ingredients (I like to double this recipe. If you do, remember not to double the salt):
1/2 pound medium or sharp Cheddar Cheese, cubed
4 tablespoons Butter (or butter substitute)
4 tablespoons all-purpose, gluten-free Flour*
1 teaspoon Vegetable Bouillon
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Dash of Nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
1-1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt (I love using Herbamare; watch out for MSG in seasoned salts)
2 cups Milk Substitute (I use Rice Milk or Coconut Milk - original (neutral flavor))
1 8-ounce package of Quinoa Elbow Macaroni (I find that rice noodles tend to get mushy, but not the quinoa noodles - they stay firm)
Paprika for the top garnish
Mix of red, white and green vegetables to stir in or layer is optional*
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
- If including colorful vegetables, chopped and lightly saute mixture with a little olive oil or butter (substitute).
- Cube the cheese into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside in a bowl.
- In a large sauce pan, melt the butter, blend in the *gluten-free flour mixture*, the seasonings and bouillon (if cubes, crumble first; if paste, blend first with butter).
- Over low-heat blend and stir mixture until smooth and it starts to bubble. Do not let it brown.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the milk.
- Return to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring continually. Add more milk, if too thick. Once the desired consistency is reached, reduce the heat to low and add in half or all the cheese. If you use half the cheese, the other half can be layered along with the *lightly sauteed vegetables or only the cheese.
- Stir the cheese sauce until all the cheese is melted.
- Cook the macaroni noodles according to package directions (add a little oil to the water, and stir to keep them from sticking together), drain and rinse.
- In a "buttered" casserole dish, large enough for a single or double batch (picture here is a double batch), layer half of the macaroni noodles, sprinkle remaining cheese if you didn't add it all to make the cheese sauce, along with the sauteed vegetables. Pour half the cheese sauce evenly over the first layer of noodles (and vegetables).
- Layer the remaining noodles, evenly pouring the the remaining cheese sauce over all.
- Garnish with paprika.
- Bake the Mac and Cheese in a 350-degree oven for 30-40 minutes for a single batch and 40-50 minutes for a double batch.
- One batch serves 6-8.
* Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
Blend together the following ingredients and store in an air-tight container:
2 cups Rice Flour
2/3 cup Potato Starch
1/3 cup Tapioca Flour